Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cold weather camping at the coast

Friday morning it was about 28 degrees here at the house.  There was enough moisture in the air to make for frosty roads.  We delayed leaving the house until 10 am because of that.  The coast range was clear of frost by that time. 

In Depoe Bay we were treated to this view:


We arrived at South Beach State Park south of Newport, OR (I misspoke in a previous blog post on the location of this park) about 12:30 pm and we were all set up by 1:00.  The blue thing between the air conditioner and the vent is Tom’s homemade TV antenna. 


The weather was beautiful without a cloud in the sky.  But it was cold!  Our walk along the beach in the afternoon was cheek numbing.  And we saw the result of the winter storms: buried walkways and barely visible signs.


Walking north onto the jetty we found an interesting memorial.



We also saw a working fishing boat heading out to sea.  In the distance is the Yaquina Head Light. 


Here is a close-up of the light. 


This is Tom’s normal look after he has been beachcombing for a while. 


Another mystery.  Where did the vehicle go?


After a beach walk Saturday morning and a lunch of peanut butter sandwiches we returned home.  The weather was coming in and it would start raining again sometime during the night. 

We were pleased with our outing.  One of the purposes was to try our our renovations on the trailer and see if they worked.  Tom’s home-made TV antenna picked up more stations than the one built into the Casita (three as opposed to one).  The extra shelving was great for better organization.  The one thing that did not work out so great was my quilt.  It slipped and slid all over the blanket.  I think it is because the blanket is a thick velour and is slippery.  I definitely want to make a sleep sack now.

All and all this was a very successful trip.

This is what greeted us Sunday morning.

IMG_4018 IMG_4017

Scary, ‘end of life as we know it’ lecture

Thursday evening we went to a lecture by a geologist that discussed what and how the next great earthquake in the pacific northwest will be.  Coincidentally, the lecture was on the 312th anniversary of the last great earthquake in the northwest which was on the par of what Japan experienced last spring.  The reason they know the exact date of that earthquake is that there are still standing tree remnants in places that were carbon dated to have last been alive about 300 years ago.  When looking at ancient records in Japan there was mention of a tsunami on Jan 26th, 1700, that did not have an accompanying earthquake (an orphan tsunami).  They have deduced that the quake occurred in the northwest and it was about a Richter scale 9.  The geological record shows that these quakes occur about every 300 to 500 years.  What is alarming is that currently two plates are moving toward each other, one sliding under the other and they are currently stuck.  The coastal mountains are rising about 3 inches per year because of the pressure.  At some point the pressure releases and there is massive upheaval up to 600 miles in length.  There is also risk of active volcanic activity. 

Really scary stuff and it sure made us aware of watching for the tsunami warning signs that are posted along the Oregon Coast.  Unfortunately, where we camped on Friday night was a long ways away from any high ground. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

At last…we are going camping tomorrow!

There is a brief window in the weather coming up out at the Oregon coast.  We decided to go ahead and pack up and leave in the morning for an overnight at South Beach State Park south of Lincoln City. 

I am glad we did not have an audience when we were initially setting up the systems in the Casita.  Tom brought the trailer from the barn up to our garage and plugged in the power.  I was out there vacuuming up all the construction dust from the our modifications when I suddenly noticed a LOT of water on the floor.  I dashed out and turned off the spigot as fast as possible.  Next came trouble shooting.  The water seemed to be coming from the reefer (refrigerator) and we were wondering what was going on!  Turns out we had forgotten that we had left all the spigots on and wood tray that fits in the kitchen sink was in position.  The water was cascading down the cabinet instead of going into the sink. 

Next we noticed a runny water noise from the bathroom.  Investigating that revealed water dripping from behind the toilet onto the black tank.  Tom had installed a water cut off valve behind the toilet and there was a defective plumbing elbow.  That meant a trip to town for Tom to find a replacement part.

Meanwhile I decide to make the bed.  First I have to lower the folding table into the bed position.  The table doesn’t fit into the space!  It is about an inch too long.  Once Tom returns from town we decide to use the original table for this trip. 

After that there were no more problems.  I tried out the TV and it works great—lots of channels with the Casita’s antenna.  We are about 40 miles from Portland as the crow flies and we are high enough to get Portland stations with rabbit ears.  The Casita’s antenna seems to pick up quite a few channels, although a couple of mainstream channels are missing.

Tonight we are going to a lecture in town about the risk of a major subduction earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.  It is probably going to scare the socks off of us about camping on the coast.

Our trailer looks so nice on our driveway.


And the inside looks cozy, too.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

More Casita mods

Since the weather has been everything from snow to rain to wind to flooding in the past week to ten days and since there is no possible chance of camping in the local area right now, I thought I would post some more of our Casita modifications. 

We have the kitchen fan assembly finished:



And Tom made a nifty holder of miscellaneous stuff for our small dinette. 


Right now it has building project stuff in it mostly.  When we go camping I think we will have our silverware and napkins in the taller compartments.  The front will have things like keys, cell phones, and cameras. 


The other storage item is a bedside storage unit for things like glasses and the kindle.


I sure do like reading until I get sleepy and then just setting aside my glasses and kindle without having to get up. 


The last item is the radio.  It was purchased at Walmart during the Christmas buying season and was somewhat cheaper than we have seen elsewhere. 


The lighted switch under the radio is a way to completely turn off the radio so there is no battery drain for running the clock and holding the radio’s memory. 


You can see where the speakers are and they sure sound great.  Maybe the carpeting on the walls help reduce any echo.  The TV is folded up out of the way.  And you can also see another shelf that Tom made.  The idea there was to have a place for DVD’s and CD’s. 

All these have been Tom’s projects.  My projects have been making a dress for a granddaughter and a shirt for a grandson and knitting a ‘monster’ for a Casita mascot.  That has a ways to go yet for it will be done.  I forgot to take a picture of that while I had the camera out.  Maybe soon we can hit the road…..

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Still waiting on the weather

Our Casita adventures remain on hold.  We missed our window to head to the Oregon coast this past week during several days of sunny weather—sunny, but chilly.  We had obligations here at home that kept us from hitting the road.  Now it is snowing!!  We are hoping for a couple of inches tonight.  It sure is good to be retired and home when dicey driving weather happens.